The Maranyundo Girls School offers a rigorous program for Ordinary Levels (S1-S3) and Advanced Levels (S4-S6). It follows the Rwanda National Curriculum (REB), infusing student-centered teaching strategies, designed to develop critical thinking and leadership skills. Our A Level program is a STEM focused program which offers the following combinations: MPC (Math, Physics, Computer Science), PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology), and PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Math).
Using the Rwandan national curriculum as the foundation, we use 21st century educational practices, that focus on developing habits of the mind, habits of academics, and habits of success. We are nurturing the next generation of Rwandan leaders and changemakers, by providing them with an opportunity to become well versed in the following 21st century competencies*:
Grit & Growth Mindset (GGM) - the value of perseverance, acquiring knowledge, skills, and understanding through practice and experience
Social Consciousness & Gratitude - appreciation for the direct and indirect work of others within one’s network and the acknowledgment of luck in the outcomes. Striving to solve problems that matter for those who are less fortunate.
Understanding of First Principles in one or more content domains (disciplinary knowledge). Taking issues and situations and problems and going to root components; understanding how the problem evolved— looking at it from a systemic perspective and not accepting things at face value.
Critical thinking, Design thinking, Problem solving. The ability to ask good questions. Work in a team to develop solutions without explicit directions. Ability to view problems from different facets, before framing the final version for the solution phase. Creativity and a passion to embrace new ideas. Conceptualize and synthesize concepts based on data. Rigorous analytical skills to test assumptions and not take things at face value. The ability to ask nonlinear, counter intuitive questions.
Collaboration across networks and leading by influence. Working in virtual teams across boundaries and cultures. Project management skills to create awareness and affect outcomes.
Agility, adaptability, scalability - Ability to think, be flexible, change, and be adaptive, and use a variety of tools to solve new problems. The ability to deal with ambiguity, the ability to learn on the fly. Understanding that there is no one right answer.
Initiative and entrepreneurship - self directed goal achievement, and problem identification. Self starters with entrepreneurial mindset to solve local and global problems.
Accessing and analyzing information - Ability to access information from different sources to discern challenges and opportunities in the right context.
Effective oral and written communication - express one's views clearly, presentation skills, content design and layout skills.
Curiosity and imagination - inquisitiveness and the drive to ask questions to frame problems and the imagination to develop effective and efficient solutions.
*Adapted from Tony Wagner
With the completion of our STEM high school in 2016, we have implemented 21st century competencies described above, through an integrated, project based learning framework, that weaves academics and habits of success. Over the course of six years at our school, students will have developed an acceptable level of these proficiencies, to continue their education at a college or university level. Our project based framework leverages technology, allowing students to learn and understand recent and relevant problems, and to develop their own solutions. Our A level students engage in research writing and participate in real world project as part of their experiential learning.
We follow a student centered philosophy and practice differentiated instruction and individualized learning. All our students receive interventions or enrichments based on their learning style, learning rate, and their readiness to learn the curricular content. We use technology, such as a learning outcomes management platform, to measure and manage learning outcomes, and provide feedback to students on a continuous basis. Students are encouraged to become self directed learners and participate in social learning groups. Fast learners often work with slower and younger learners, to minimize the learning gaps that naturally arise from a diverse set of learners with different backgrounds.
Students use the internet extensively for research: to collect data from various sources, in order to frame problems and develop potential solutions. They use cloud based software to record their findings, and use proper APA style citations for proper attribution. They then use collaborative content creation software to work with others as a team, to develop reports and presentations. Our students collaborate with other students within Rwanda and with schools in the US and Europe. Students learn project management skills and use software such as Trello, to manage their collaborative projects. Our students use software such as Hangouts and Skype to work with academics and those in industry, as part of our effort to provide them with real world experiences. We are dedicated to developing our future leaders by providing them with competencies that allow them to succeed in the 21st century.
We are steeped in the use of technology to increase learning outcomes and teaching effectiveness. We have a 3 to 1 ratio of students to computers and a 2 to 1 ratio of tablets & computers for 400 students. Every student will use a tablet or computer in every class, at least once a week (our O level students have 14 classes and our A level students have between 8 and 10 classes depending on the combination). Students use these computing devices for independent research, completing assignments and assessments, and online learning. Student also use technology for project based learning activities, including activities that are help them develop the 21st century skills. Our faculty is trained in the use to instructional technology and utilize online teaching methodologies to reach every student. We use online learning clusters and groups so that students can become self directed learners and utilize social learning strategies to attain higher learning outcomes.
Technology is used also to develop the creative faculties of our students. Students engage in the visual arts through activities and structured programs in photography, videography, graphic design, music synthesis & production, and electronic book and storytelling.
We offer career and college counseling to our A level students. Starting at S4, students learn about various careers options to pursue after high school. Students engage in real world research through a partnership with academics and those in industry. They also have an opportunity to work as interns during their holiday breaks and gain additional real world experience. Students also develop a portfolio of their work for college admissions, which can include research projects, creative works, and business proposals. We provide ACT and SAT test prep classes and develop test taking strategies for those students interested in going to colleges and universities in the United States.
An Unrivaled Reputation
Statistics indicate a progressively impressive academic record since the school begin in 2008.
2010: #1 girls school in the country, #3 school overall based on National O-level Exam.
2011: #1 girls school in the country, #2 school overall based on National O-level Exam
2012: #1 girls school in the country, #1 school overall based on National O-level Exam .
2013: Specific rankings are discontinued but Maranyundo Girls School is named in the Ministry of Education’s top tier of schools in the country. Every graduating student achieves “with distinction” notation on National O-level exam.
2014: All students continue to achieve ‘with distinction’ on exams. Three Maranyundo students are named to “Top Ten” performing students in the country.
2015: All students continue to achieve ‘with distinction’ on exams. The top scoring two students on the National O-Level Exam in all of Rwanda are from Maranyundo Girls School.
Accreditation and Evaluation
Maranyundo Girls School follows the Rwandan National Curriculum and standards and is accredited by the Ministry of Education, Certification #0507054. We are in the process of registering for a CEEB code, and expect to be issued one by January 2017. The school is evaluated annually by The Rwandan Ministry of Education, Benebikira Congregation, and the Maranyundo Initiative. The faculty includes native English speakers from the U.S. who are responsible for improving language fluency. Some faculty have completed professional development training in the U.S. and have contributed to the development of the national curriculum standards. The Maranyundo Initiative evaluates the school based on the mutually agreed upon School of Excellence criteria. This criterion requires several standards to be upheld. Class sizes must be kept at 30 students to ensure individualized attention and cooperative learning in the classroom. All teachers must be academically degree qualified per MINEDUC guidelines. There must exist a culture of mentorship, professional development, evaluation and feedback among teachers.
Development of the “Whole Girl”
Outside of structured class time and study periods, there are an abundance of student-lead activities including but not limited to Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Debate, Public Speaking, Bright Rwanda, Traditional Dance, Music and Dance, Modelling and Fashion, Choir, Peace and Unity, Maranyundo Charity Team, Environment Club, Peace and Love Proclaimers, Art Club, Anti-Drug and Crime Club, and the Reading and Poetry Club.
The Benebikira Sisters have created a strong culture of community and caring at the school. Steeped in Rwanda values of discipline, faith and personal responsibility, the school exemplifies the congregation’s unwavering belief in the ability of every girl, regardless of background or family situation, to meet high standards of excellence and achieve success.
Each new student is assigned a mentor or “mother” on their first day from the previous class, who herself has a mother who then becomes the new girl’s “grandmother” creating a strong network of caring relationships across the economic divide and the grade levels.